People deride Houston as a city that lacks culture, cuisine or something quintessentially ours that draws tourists to the city.  Many can name our many popular industries such as Oil & Gas or recall the appropriately named Oilers NFL team. But let’s be honest, there is nothing sexy about a “Come to Houston!” billboard that boasts our energy industry.  I am forever my hometown’s cheerleader, but even I have fallen in with the naysayers a time or two.  This year I made a conscious effort to really discover what Houston has to offer food wise of course and culturally. Luckily, these things are often tied together.  With that said, I am quickly learning that Houston has alllll of that and then some.  It really is a matter of getting out of your comfort zone and seeking these things out.

One of my recent forays into the Houston Art and Cultural scene was Groove Fest at Jones Plaza! Groove Fest consisted of several local acts topped off by R&B singer Dwele.  It was a great chance to listen to music in a chill park setting. Plus there were food trucks and I am always for food trucks!

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The Groove Fest Stage

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Panko breaded shrimp poboy from the Casian King food truck.

Next up, I took my colleague up on an offer for free tickets to the Houston Symphony. Although I am not a huge fan of classical music, I figured this would be a good experience.   Once I entered Jones Hall, where the Houston Symphony performs, I recalled visiting the venue for field trips as a kid.  This music was in stark contrast from Groove Fest, but I still enjoyed it.  The first chair violinist was amazing to watch.  In these settings, it is SO quiet allowing the focus to be solely on the performers.  That was different, yet still likable.

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THEN, this past Friday I attended the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Mixed Media Block Party with my sister and friends.  It was such an amazing event! The street in front of the museums was blocked off for a party that included food, drinks, music, AND the arts. We hauled an Uber to the event because we were unsure on parking and knew liquor would be involved.  I mistakenly ate before coming but waited in line at the Golden Grill while my friend ordered a grilled cheese. There were so many good food trucks that I was unfamiliar with.  I could have kicked myself for grabbing food beforehand!

After eating, we headed into the Caroline Wiess Law building to tour the exhibits.  In addition to the art exhibits, there was a SmileBooth and a PhotoMoto.  We did not hop inside either booth, but it really was fun to watch others partake.  Despite all of the craziness, the main exhibit areas were quiet enabling you to really enjoy them as well. Next we toured the sculpture garden which had a stage and DJ set up.  This was really a party with sculptures hanging about.  We danced and took very appropriate pictures with the sculptures. Strategically placed all around the place were Mini Cooper cars for visitors to hop in and get a feel for.  My friend and I hopped in one and were surprised at how spacious those things are! Now, we are both under 5 feet 5 inches so I imagine they are not too comfortable for most people, but I was pleasantly surprised that it even fit me.

We topped the night off with ice cream from Smooch, one of the many food trucks.  It reminded me of the Cool Haus truck that I had during my last trip to Dallas.  I was glad to finally find a comparable food truck here in Houston.

This was SUCH a fun event! MFAH really knows how to throw a great event and I will make sure to prioritize any future events they have.  As you can see, the last few months have been packed full of Houston cultural events.  I hope to continue to explore different events in my hometown and share them with you.  Up next for me is Tacolandia!!! I cannot wait for that one and I will definitely be posting here about my experience.